Freshwater melting from glaciers provides up to 30 per cent of the reliable freshwater in our river systems in Western Canada. As these glaciers continue to disappear at an alarming rate, this reliable source of water that is used for irrigation and drinking water becomes more precarious. (Photo: Mark Ferguson)

USask ranked No. 1 in Canada for water resources research and among top 100 globally in four subject areas

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is ranked first in Canada and 20th in the world for water resources research, according to the recently published 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

By USask Research Profile and Impact and Mark Ferguson

USask also placed in the top 100 universities in the world in three other research areas: environmental science/engineering (51-75th place), veterinary sciences (51-75th), and agricultural sciences (76-100th), according to the 2020 Shanghai Ranking Consultancy’s ARWU, an influential ranking of 1,800 universities around the world based on research performance indicators such as publications, citation impact, and international collaboration. 

“These results are a reflection of the outstanding research that takes place at the University of Saskatchewan as we strive to be the university the world needs,” said USask Vice-President Karen Chad.

“Particularly notable is the fact we are among global leaders in our signature areas of water and food security, as well as in fields such as environmental sciences and new materials research that involve synchrotron-based studies at our Canadian Light Source, Canada’s only synchrotron.”

USask tied for second place in Canada for public administration and for third place in materials science/engineering. USask was fourth in the country for both veterinary sciences and for environmental science/technology, and tied for fourth spot for both agricultural sciences and food science/technology. USask tied for sixth place in both chemical engineering and earth sciences, and tied for 10th spot in Canada for law.

In the AWRU, USask has been ranked as Canada’s top water resources university and one of the world-leading universities for the past four years. With the establishment of the USask Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS) in 2011 and the Global Water Futures (GWF) program in 2016, the university has become a renowned centre for research into hydrological science and prediction.

Protecting our most precious natural resource—water—has become increasingly critical in the face of climate change. Global water security could be the biggest environmental challenge of this century, says GIWS executive director Dr. Jay Famiglietti (PhD).

“I’m proud that the investment and expertise that we have in water research at USask is being recognized around the world,” said Famiglietti. “We all know how important water is for everything from food and energy production to our most basic needs for drinking water, so we continue to work tirelessly to ensure we have a future that includes freshwater for all of us.”

More than 100 faculty members across many colleges and departments conduct wide-ranging interdisciplinary water-related research that includes aquatic toxicology, aquatic biogeochemistry, hydrology, and human dimensions of water security. Read more about this work: